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Minnesota Basketball: Hosting the Badgers, 3 keys beating Wisconsin

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The hated Badgers are coming to The Barn, how do we send them back to Madison with a loss?

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Barn

8:00 PM

BTN

Wisconsin

Will Greg Gard call late meaningless timeouts? Time will tell. Better yet, will Ben Johnson do it to him as the Gophers finish out the upset win?

Wisconsin

Mascot: Badgers
Record: 21-5
KenPom Rank: 25

The Gophers came dangerously close to winning in Madison. The sequence of Johnny Davis making a controlled drive and tough shot followed by a really poor Gopher possession ended the dream. Can they pull it out this time and do some major damage to the Badger hopes at a Big Ten title?

KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN

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Win turnovers - We have been pretty good at not turning the ball over...most of the time. Wisconsin is second in the country in turnover%, so they are even better at it than we are. The Gopher defense needs to find ways to generate a few extra possessions.

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Win threes - How about this for a stat...the Badgers in Big Ten play are the worst three-point shooting team in the conference. The Gophers are 4th in offensive %. This is a stat that could play huge in Minnesota’s favor. Make some threes, watch Wisconsin miss a bunch of threes.

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Offensive movement - This gets a little back to my comments a couple weeks ago about “hero ball.” When this offense is reversing the ball and working off each other for shots, they get good shots and they make shots. When the offense stagnates, they really are just not good enough to keep up with a good team. Move the ball.

PREDICTION

Wisconsin’s Davis is a really good player and fun to watch. Maybe the least hate-able Badger in years. Slowing him down is really the one and only key of the game, but I really don’t know that we have the defensive wherewithal to do this.

I’m going with a no on this one. The Northwestern win for Minnesota was the best they have looked in weeks, so maybe if they continue that caliber of play. And to be honest a win wouldn’t totally shock me. But it’s not likely.

Moneyline - Wisconsin
Spread - Wisconsin +5 (to be honest, I’m not touching this one)
Over/Under - 135...I don’t know, don’t love this number either, but I think I’d go under (ignore my score prediction below)
Player Prop - Davis over 20.5 points. Davis shoots better and scores more points on the road, and I’m not convinced we can slow him down.

Minnesota - 65
Wisconsin - 72